Roger Moore's Bond movies
The death of Roger Moore last month triggered a wave of nostalgia, with the main focus inevitably on his seven film performances as James Bond. His were the funniest and silliest of the Bond movies. The plots, the villains, the fights, the gadgets, the seductions, were classic kitsch: cheesy and tacky, yet knowing and ironic. And Moore, with his matinee idol looks and oh-so-expressive eyebrow, was just the man to personify the package, a mocking celebration of Britain’s ‘70s and ‘80s delusions about itself. And the fans loved him for it. Maybe it was rubbish, but it was our rubbish.
Those of a certain age will also remember his earlier TV action-adventure incarnations as The Saint, made by Lew Grade’s ITC for ITV from 1962 to 1969; and ITC’s 1971 follow-on series The Persuaders which added Tony Curtis for a bit of transatlantic appeal. If an episode of The Saint was on, my brother and I would suspend our endless feuding to watch it, simply because it was on. Such was the power of telly.
But back to Bond. The History Project collection includes a number of interviews with, or references to, key figures on Moore-era Bond films.
Ken Adam acted as Production Designer on The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, and there is an interview with him at http://historyproject.org.uk/interview/ken-adam. He was succeeded by Peter Lamont who designed Moore’s last three Bond films: For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, and A View to a Kill. Lamont is mentioned by Terry Ackland-Snow in his interview at http://historyproject.org.uk/interview/terry-ackland-snow.
Alan Hume was Cinematographer on those same three films. His interview is at http://historyproject.org.uk/interview/alan-hume
Guy Hamilton, who directed Moore’s first two Bond films, Live and Let Die, and The Man with the Golden Gun is mentioned by Sydney Samuelson (http://historyproject.org.uk/interview/sydney-samuelson) and Peggy Gick (http://historyproject.org.uk/interview/peggy-gick). And there is an interview with Lewis Gilbert (http://historyproject.org.uk/content/0386) who directed The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker.
Gordon McCallum was Dubbing Mixer on The Spy Who Loved Me, and Re-recording Mixer on Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, and Octopussy. The transcript of his History Project interview can be found at http://historyproject.org.uk/content/0058.
Finally, Stunt Performer Doug Robinson did his eye-watering stuff on five of Moore’s seven Bond pictures: Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, For Your Eyes Only, and A View to a Kill. His interview is at http://historyproject.org.uk/interview/doug-robinson
ROGER MOORE as JAMES BOND: FILMOGRAPHY
Live and Let Die 1973
The Man with the Golden Gun 1974
The Spy Who Loved Me 1977
For Your Eyes Only 1981
A View to a Kill 1985.